As many of you know, I left Florida to come to Massachusetts for this election, to help Sean Bielat's Congressional race. I miss my family and friends in the Sunshine State, but this has been an incredible experience so far. One of the more interesting aspects for me has been observing the activities of the Massachusetts Republicans, and some very promising developments in conservative grassroots activism around the southeastern part of the state.
The MassGOP, who I've characterized as "merry pranksters" for stunts like this, are very skilled at making a big impact with limited resources. In Florida, Republicans are spoiled with a organized state party structure with active Republican Executive Committees in every county, as well as complete control of the Cabinet, a veto-proof majority in both houses of the state legislature, and most of Florida's Congressional delegation. Still, there is a feisty and nimble attitude I see displayed by the MassGOP, a constant quest to find new ways to take jabs at the Democrats, that I think larger state parties could learn from.
I have also observed a wonderful trend of excellent Republican candidates running for office in Massachusetts, who exhibit the strong spirit and commitment to fiscal responsibility that was the heart of the 2010 Republican renaissance. Sean Bielat ran for the first time in 2010, against a long time incumbent in a highly gerrymandered district, and still managed to put up a fight against Barney Frank, so much so that Frank was unwilling to try his luck against Sean again in the newly redistricted Fourth District. I've also met several of the Republican state legislators who were elected in 2010; Representatives Angelo D'Emilia (Bridgewater) and Keiko Orrall (Lakeville) were especially impressive.
One thing I think it's important to know is that Massachusetts is not actually a blue state. Yes, really! It's true that there are more registered Democrats than Republicans, but the majority of voters in Massachusetts are independent, not registered with either party (commonly referred to as "unenrolled" here). These unenrolled voters often have conservative or moderate views on many issues, and the Republican message can be appealing to them. Remember, Scott Brown won statewide just two years ago. Voters in Massachusetts have voted for Republicans before, and the world didn't end, and they are willing to do so again this year, perhaps more than any year in recent history.
Sean Bielat isn't the only great Republican Congressional candidate in this area. Jon Golnik, Jeff Semon, and Chris Sheldon are also worth checking out. (Note: I have met Semon and Sheldon, and they have my endorsement. I do not officially endorse candidates unless I have met them in person, but Golnik is an impressive candidate and I like what I'm hearing from him.) All three are running against Democratic incumbents.
Earlier this week, I participated in a blogger conference call with Golnik, Semon, and Sheldon. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) announced recently that it was committing at least $2.2 million in ad buys in Massachusetts, significantly more than they had ever contemplated spending in this state before. By making such a large investment, the NRCC clearly sees multiple Congressional districts as in play for the Republicans this year, and southeastern Massachusetts is the most conservative part of the state. I posted my notes from the call on my blog here.
In this modern campaign era, we are not limited to supporting just the candidates in our own neighborhoods, and Republicans need to realize that the ever-stagnant economy and Obama's continual failed leadership means many more districts are up for grabs than were in 2008.
We don't have to just settle for trying to elect conservatives from red states like Texas. We can play on the Democrats' turf (or at least what they think is theirs!), and we can win.
Will you consider donating $20.12 or more to each of them, and help all of us turn Massachusetts from blue to red?
Any amount you can contribute helps. It costs about fifty cents to print and mail a simple postcard mailpiece, and many homes have two or three voters. So even a $5.00 donation means that candidate can reach ten or twenty more voters. Wonderful!
Today is the last day of the reporting period, so please make your donation by midnight ET tonight.
[Cross-posted at Sunshine State Sarah, along with a summary of the conference call and additional links and information about these candidates]